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Santa Barbara Dance Theater holds a unique position as a a professional dance company in residence at UC Santa Barbara, a world-class research institution fostering creative and educational connections between students, company members, guest artists/scholars and colleagues. An integral component of the Department of Theater and Dance, the company was founded in 1976 and celebrates its 45th Anniversary Season in 2022. 


SBDT is dedicated to collaborative exploration and the creation of new works for performance. The company’s creative process, driven by the Artistic Director’s unique vision and fueled by the talents of accomplished professionals, generates exciting productions and offers an expanding view of human potential to a diverse and growing audience.

Taking the helm for SBDT's relaunch, incoming Artistic Director Brandon Whited is excited to usher the company into a new chapter while keeping its history and lineage in mind.  Centering research as a central purpose, Prof. Whited seeks to continue to interrogate and investigate the potential of dance and performance through a critical and self-analytical lens.  SBDT will continue with its efforts to promote and present guest artists and feature companies from national and international corners of the dance world.  Prof. Whited has also continued SBDT Student apprentice program started by previous Artistic Director Christopher Pilafian as a fertile site for Professional-Student exchange, and on-the-job learning and training for the students.

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